BudBuilt FJ Cruiser Scrape Plates

With the new Toyota FJ Cruiser came the need for better scrape plates.   While the manufacturers seem to want to put something under their 4x4's, it always seems like there are not enough and the metal is too thin.

Budbuilt has the solution for the FJ Cruiser: A complete new set of plates made of heavy duty 3/16th laser cut steel.

All pictures HERE.

The plates came to us as raw metal.   The first step was to clean them off with warm soap and water to remove and dirt and oil, then rinse and let them dry in the warm sun.

After they were cleaned off, they got a coat of primer and finally black paint.
As it the case with most factory scrape plates, they were made of metal that was too thin, and there was not enough of them.   After only a few runs, they were already looking beat up and were deformed.
In a few areas, there was no coverage at all.
The "skid plate" for the gas tank is just a piece of plastic.   
The first step is to take the factory skid plates off.   

Since the new scrape plates did not come with any instructions, we figured we would start at the front and work our way back.   

Using the new bolts and washers provided, we installed the front scrape plate.   

Don't tighten anything down yet, you may need to wiggle things around to make it all line up.

Included in the parts bag, there is one nut clip.   This is used on the center of the front scrape plate to attach the first and second plates together.
Here is a closer picture of the center mount on the front plate showing the nut clip in place.
With the front plate in place, the second plate is fitted and the bolts are installed hand tight.

The third plate uses longer bolts to replace the factory brace bolts on the cross member.

Remove these 2 bolts on each side.

The third scrape plate fits on top of and inside the second plate.   

Because we were not exactly sure how the new rear cross member was going to fit and where, we installed the two front bolts and the 4 longer bolts that go through the cross member braces, then figured the new rear cross member out.

Here are some detailed pictures of the new rear cross member and where it mounts.

You are looking at the passenger side of the vehicle.   The bolt that holds the exhaust mount to the frame is removed, and a new longer bolt is used to go through both brackets.   A second bolt is used above and to the left (yellow arrow) in an existing hole that is already threaded.

You are now looking at the passenger side.  On this side the bolt holding the brake line bracket is removed and a new bolt hold the bracket and the new cross member.  

A second bolt on the lower left is also used in an existing threaded hole.

Note how there is a gap in the bottom edge of the new cross member. This gap is to account for the factory weld that would not allow a flush fit. (yellow arrow)

Alan installs the bolts that mount the two plates together...   

Note that the plates go together and form a smooth surface that should slide nicely over any obstacles that get in our way!

A side shot of the new setup.  Note how the transfer case is now protected, when before it was completely out in the open.
A shot from another angle.  We now have one continuous skid from the front all the way past the transfer case.
The final step was to install the gas tank skid.   It mounts up to the existing studs that hand from the gas tank straps and re-uses the factory nuts.
All but one stud was long enough, but the final one towards the rear of the gas tank was giving us a bit of a problem.  In the newer kits they have provided slightly longer studs to solve this problem.
Now for the fun part: Take the FJ out and test the scrape plates! Yup… they work! Its nice to know that we now have some solid plates under the FJ so we can slide over obstacles without any fear.
These scrape plates get the big thumbs up from us!   Budbuilt is working on a second improved version of the scrape plates, we cant wait to see how they turn out!
Back to the FJ Page
Back to the Tacoma Page
Back to the Home Page